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Government & Law The Structure of Canada ’ s Government. What is Government?. Formal system of decision making Govt acts according to established rules and procedures – traditions Institutions carry out govt ’ s work. Foundations of Our Government. First Nations Hereditary title

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Government law the structure of canada s government

Government & LawThe Structure of Canada’s Government


What is government

What is Government?

  • Formal system of decision making

  • Govt acts according to established rules and procedures – traditions

  • Institutions carry out govt’s work


Foundations of our government

Foundations of Our Government

  • First Nations

    • Hereditary title

    • Elected leaders

    • Community leadership

    • Oral traditions

  • European Roots of Canadian system

    • British parliamentary tradition basis for federal & provincial governments

      • Representative democracy

      • Constitutional monarchy


Parliament hill

Parliament Hill

www.arrakeen.ch/


Queen of canada

Queen of Canada

http://en.wikipedia.org


Representative democracy

Representative democracy

  • Democracy – rule by the people

  • Greek – direct - eligible citizens vote o all decisions affecting society

  • Representative – elected representatives make decisions on our behalf


Constitutional monarchy

Constitutional Monarchy

  • Monarch as Head of State

  • Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Canada

  • Governor General is Monarch’s representative in Canada

  • QEII does not actually rule Canada but safeguards democracy

  • Laws cannot be ignored

http://collections.ic.gc.ca


Written constitution

Written Constitution

  • 1867 British North America Act (BNA)

  • Amended in 1982

    • Powers of provincial legislatures & Parliament

    • Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    • An amending formula (7/10 >50% population)

  • Unwritten constitution

    • Rules & practices that are not written but are based on 1000 years of parliamentary tradition inherited from Britain e.g.: no mention of political parties in the Constitution but important part of our system


Federal system

Federal System

  • An organization of regional governments (provinces) acting on behalf of its own residents with a central govt responsible for matters of the nation as a whole – federalism

  • Federal e.g.:

    • Citizenship

    • Defense

    • Currency

    • Residual powers – new areas that did not exist then

  • Provincial e.g.:

    • Education

    • Health care

  • Shared e.g.:

    • Agriculture

    • Environment


Municipal government

Municipal Government

  • Local, municipal provides essential services such as

    • Garbage collection

    • Sewage treatment

    • Fire protection

    • Policing

    • Water supply

    • Establishment of schools


What level of govt

What level of govt?

www.canadabay.nsw.gov.au

www.forces.gc.ca/

www.radio-canada.ca/

www5.kcn.ne.jp


Parliamentary system

Parliamentary System

  • Executive

    • Power to make decisions and administer through civil service

  • Legislative

    • Power to make laws

  • Judicial

    • Power to interpret and administer the law

    • Carried out by judiciary (judges & courts)


The federal government

The Federal Government

  • Legislative Branch

    • comprised of

      • Governor General

      • House of Commons

      • Senate

    • Parliament must meet once a year (session)

    • Passes, amends, repeals laws – debates

    • Question periods


House of commons

House of Commons

  • Elected Members of Parliament (MPs)

  • Elections every 5 years

  • Canada divided into ridings (constituencies of approx 100,000 people each)

  • Population decides number of seats

  • Speaker of the House controls debates

  • Members sit with parties

  • Ruling party on one side; opposition on other

  • Opposition scrutinizes actions of govt


House of commons lower house

House of Commons (Lower House)

www.craigmarlatt.com


How do mps vote

How do MPs vote?

  • Elected representatives of each party hold private meetings called caucus

  • Discuss, argue freely

  • Leader explains party policy, programmes, actions

  • Once decision is made, tradition holds that members will vote in favour of party’s position

  • Free vote – allows members to vote according to what they believe is best


The senate upper house

The Senate (Upper House)

  • Independent of House of Commons

  • Appoints own Speaker

  • Governor General appoints Senators on recommendation of PM

    • Canadian citizens

    • At least 30 years old

    • Living in province they represent

    • Own at least $4000 worth of property


The senate upper house1

The Senate (Upper House)

  • Main role to provide final check on legislation passed in Lower House

  • Senate may also introduce bills

  • Regional representation – by population

  • Appointments based on patronage

    • Some believe Senate represents upper income groups and party interests


The executive branch

The Executive Branch

  • Consists of

    • Governor general

    • Prime Minister

    • Cabinet

    • Civil Service

  • Governor General

    • Monarch’s representative

    • Gives formal assent to bill before it becomes law

    • Ceremonial function

    • Advisor to the govt


The prime minister

The Prime Minister

  • Leader of party with most elected members of the House of Commons is invited to become Prime Minister by Governor General

  • Head of Government

    • Ask Gov Gen to name new judges

    • Best time to ask Gov Gen to call election

    • Chooses & shuffles Cabinet

    • Addresses Canadians on issues of national concern

    • Explains goals of ruling party (party leader)

    • Represents Canada internationally

    • Works with Premiers

    • Patronage appointments – Senate, diplomatic corps


The cabinet

The Cabinet

  • Elected party members chosen by PM

  • Each cabinet minister is responsible for a particular govt dept

  • Reflects nation

    • Gender

    • Ethnicity

    • Cultural, social and linguistic diversity

  • Free opinions in Cabinet meetings but Cabinet Solidarity publicly (party whip to ensure solidarity and attendance for voting)


The public service

The Public Service

  • Civil service/bureaucracy

  • Permanent employees doing govt business

  • The face of govt

  • Duties

    • Gather stats

    • Write details for new laws

    • Represent Canada abroad

    • Carry out laws

    • Collect taxes

    • Monitor imports & exports

    • Process passports

    • Deliver mail

    • Advise ministers

    • Draft laws


How a bill becomes law

How a Bill Becomes Law


Provincial territorial governments

Provincial/Territorial Governments

  • 3 branches

    • Executive

    • Legislative

    • Judicial

  • Premier is leader of government

  • Lieutenant Governor represents Monarch

  • One house (Legislature; National Assembly in Quebec)

    • MLA or MPP


Education

Education

  • Provincial curriculum

  • Local School Boards

  • Regulate teachers


Environment

Environment

  • Policies and laws about how resources are managed

  • Balance current demand plus future use – sustainability


Health care social welfare

Health Care & Social Welfare

  • Shared with federal govt

  • How to provide care

  • Hospitals, testing, long term care

  • Aging population

    • Require more health services

    • Preventative care

    • 2 tier?

  • Social welfare

    • Disabled

    • Single mothers


Transportation

Transportation

  • Urban transit

  • Develop railways, ports, highways and airports


Negotiating with the federal govt

Negotiating with the Federal Govt

  • Equalization and transfer payments

  • Work constantly to redefine balance of power

  • Disputes resolved through Supreme Court of Canada


Local governments

Local Governments

  • Town council

  • Elected officials - councillors

  • Leader – Mayor

  • Bylaws


Aboriginal self government

Aboriginal Self-Government

  • Band councils or elders

  • Leader – Chief

  • Negotiate with Federal and Provincial govt

http://www.kib.ca/chief.htm


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